Rural Water Award Winners

Clark Cronquist Waterline Award: This award is given to someone who through their distinctive leadership and perseverance has gone above and beyond the call of duty in the promotion, development, or enhancement of rural water on a state or national level.  This is our most prestigious award.

1979   Eileen Benzinger  2002 LaVonne Althoff
1980 Clark Cronquist 2003 Warren Jameson
1981 Dick Fiala 2004 Dave Koland
1982 Neil Modin 2005 Patrick Denne
1983 Vern Kaldor 2006 Don Flynn
1984 Doran Miller 2007 Congressman Earl Pomeroy
1985 Fay Waxler 2008 Douglass Neibauer
1986 Jerome Olson 2009 LeRoy Johnson
1987 Dr. Stanley Brumleve 2010 Senator Byron Dorgan
1988 Alfred Thompson 2011 Jack Long
1989 W. Ross Brown 2012 No Award
1990 Vernon Anderson 2013 Bill Link
1991 Vic Ertmann 2014 Joe LaFave
1992 Dave Sandell 2015 Jack Hancock
1993 Gordon Johnson 2016 Cal Thelen & Ray Bieber
1994 Neal McClure 2017 Dave Lang
1995 Lloyd Sondreal 2018 Keith Nilson
1996 Roger Stallman 2019 Gordon Johnson
1997 Richard Herrmann 2020 Gordy Blixt
1998 Francis "Fritz" Schwindt 2021 No Award
1999 Rodger Berntson 2022 Larry Schultz
2000 Kermit Ueland    
2001 K.B. Finneseth    

Friend of Rural Water Award: This award is given to someone who provides outstanding service and exceptional contributions to further the goals of rural water in North Dakota.

1988 Erv Rolfstad & Hank Trangsrud 2006 Jerome Jungling
1989 Lee Nerdahl & Glen Kellerman 2007 Cal Thelen
1990 Gene Lilly & Carl Sandager 2008 Galen Satrom
1991 Northern Water Works & Fargo Water  2009 Joe Bichler
1992 Senator Orlin Hanson & Vern Hedland 2010 Bob Shelstad
1993 Glennis Sanden & Jerald Engelman 2011 Bob Keller
1994 Gary Warner & Burleigh Water Users 2012 No Award
1995 Alfred Underdahl & Karl Limvere 2013 Jim Lennington
1996 Ray Scheetz & Jack Hancock 2014 Jerry Blomeke
1997 Vernon Johnson 2015 Larry Amundson & Rod Beck
1998 Austin Gillette & Gene Davison 2016 Neil Breidenbach
1999 Ray Mount & Gene Hagen 2017 Lyle Gravseth
2000 Maurice Johnson 2018 Ken Royse
2001 Earl Magnuson 2019 Kenneth Rogers
2002 Tillie Walker 2020 Charlie Vein
2003 Steve Burian 2021 No Award
2004 Rick Wanner 2022 Geoff Slick
2005 Tex Hall    

Outstanding Water Works Employee: This award is given to a water operator or rural water system manager with outstanding leadership abilities and extraordinary accomplishments in water operations beyond the normal requirements of their job.

1993 Larry Amundson & LaRay Ries 2009 Perry Kapaun
1994 Gary Grindberg & Roger Nelson 2010 Ross Carter
1995 Joel Heitkamp & Bill Link 2011 Mary Massad
1996 Randy Loeslie & Bill Sager 2012 Steve Hansen
1997 Doug Neibauer & Edward Braunagel 2013 Gordon Johnson
1998 Chris Helgeson & Dan Schaefer 2014 Randy Thompson & Guy Mischel
1999 "Frenchie" Leintz 2015 Nels Halgren
2000 Mike Kemnitz & George Motl 2016 Geneva Kaiser
2001 Barry Schulz 2017 Dan Roller
2002 Neil Breidenbach 2018 Gus Cronquist
2003 Ray Christensen 2019 Mike Thompson
2004 Alvin Carlson 2020 Larry Kassian
2005 Lee Messer 2021 No Award
2006  Mike Blessum 2022 Grace Rixen
2007 Ralph Packulak & George Azure    
2008 Gary Schultz & John McDonald    

Outstanding Office Employee: This award is given to those unsung heroes working quietly in the background; office managers, secretaries, clerks, city auditors, whatever their title may be – they are the backbone of every organization and we want to recognize those that have gone that extra mile in promoting water issues to their boards, councils, management, and communities.

2009 Shirley Albrecht 2016 Janice Elshaug
2010 Kathryn "Pat" McCollum 2017 Sally Herda
2011 Sandy Nelson 2018 Deb Foertsch
2012 Shari Hagen 2019 Liz Suhr
2013 Linda Aubol 2020 Sandy Burwick
2014 Brad Hejtmanek 2021 No Award
2015 Connie Halldorson 2022
Alice Pekarski

Water Taste Contest Winner: This award is given to the North Dakota Water System with the tastiest water. EXPO Conference attendees vote for their favorite sample and narrow the contest to three samples. The three water samples are then tasted by a panel of distinguished judges to select the winner. The winner competes in the nationwide competition in Washington, D.C.

1993 City of Sherwood 2009 South Central Regional Water District
1994 North Valley Water District 2009  Valley City Public Works (Best of the Best)
1995 North Valley Water District 2010 South Central Regional Water District
1996 Southeast Water Users District 2011 City of Garrison
1997 Ramsey County Rural Utilities 2012 South Central Regional Water District
1998 Ramsey County Rural Utilities 2013 State Line Water Cooperative
1999 Tri-County Water District 2014 Cify of Wahpeton
2000 North Valley Water District 2015 Southwest Water Authority
2001 City of Cooperstown 2016 City of Steele
2002 Grand Forks-Traill Water District 2017 Southeast Water Users District
2003 Grand Forks-Traill Water District 2018 Northeast Regional Water District
2004 Southeast Water Users District 2019 City of Bismarck
2005 Cass Rural Water Users District 2020 Valley City Public Works
2006 Cass Rural Water Users District 2021 Southwest Water Authority
2007 Valley City Public Works 2022 Cass Rural Water District
2008 City of Noonan